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For Immediate Release


Sept. 7, 2007

Ministry of Environment




VICTORIA A $30,000 B.C. government grant to the British Columbia Seafood Alliance will help the commercial fishing industry to participate effectively in the establishment and ongoing management of marine conservation areas, Environment Minister Barry Penner said today.


            “Our marine conservation areas system is one of British Columbia’s greatest environmental and economic assets,” said Penner. “They protect marine ecosystems and biodiversity and safeguard significant cultural, historical, recreational and scientific features, while also playing a key role in the sustainable management of B.C.’s fisheries.”


Since the establishment of the first marine parks at Montague Harbour and Rebecca Spit in 1957, British Columbia has been the most active of all Canadian provinces in the creation of marine conservation areas. There are currently over 130 marine conservation areas stretching along the entire British Columbia coast.


The development of marine conservation areas has a substantial impact on B.C.’s commercial fishing industry – one of the main users of ocean resources. Their participation in the development and management of these protected areas is integral to the sustainability and economic viability of their activities. In recognition of this, the government grant will enable the commercial fishing industry to develop a cohesive information base and to enhance their ability to participate more fully in the ongoing management of the marine conservation areas system in the province.


            “Marine conservation areas are part of the fisheries management toolkit,” said Christina Burridge, British Columbia Seafood Alliance executive director. “This grant will help the commercial fishing industry to participate more effectively in their development and management in B.C.”


             As part of a 2004 Memorandum of Understanding, the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia agreed to jointly develop agreements on implementation measures for a marine protected areas framework. The goal is to have a completed system of marine protected areas in place by 2012.






Kate Thompson

Media Relations

250 953-4577


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